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    Posted June 30, 2014 by
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    Kernels - Monday, June 30, 2014

     

    Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

    News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Monday, June 30th, 2014.

    1. Religious Liberty Upheld - In a 5-4 decision released this morning,  the US Supreme Court ruled that closely held companies such as Hobby  Lobby could not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage which would  violate its owners' religious belief against abortion.

    See and read my reaction which was vetted for use by CNN: Splitting Hairs Gets Right Decision.

    2. Blow to Public Unions - In a separate 5-4 ruling released today, the  Supreme Court ruled that home healthcare workers in Illinois were not  government employees and could not be forced to pay dues to a public  union representing government employees.

    While narrow in its  scope, the decision nonetheless was a blow to advocates of public  unions. If you recall, limits placed on public unions by Wisconsin  Governor Scott Walker was at the crux of a failed recall attempt a  couple of years ago.

    The order hampers union efforts to expand  reach when membership is declining and lessening influence in the  political arena. The ruling did not, however, overturn a 37-year-old  decision allowing unions to collect fees from non-union employees at a  union business.

    3. Terror Strikes Israel - Three Israeli teens  kidnapped a couple of weeks ago were found dead in a field today. The  teens had been snatched by the terrorist Hamas in the West Bank on their  way home from school.

    As regional unrest amid fights between  Sunnis and Shiites continues to expand, Israeli response and taking  action of retribution against Hamas will only further ignite the real  possibly more and more of the world may be drawn into a conflict which  bears striking similarities to the Balkans in 1914 which led to World  War I.

    4. The Caliphate - Seeking to cement its goal, the  Islamic State in Iraq and Syria announced the creation of a caliphate  comprised of territory controlled by the terrorist group in Syria and  Iraq. The Islamic caliphate state was last seen a hundred years ago and  ended with World War I.

    It is clear that ISIS and its Sunni  allies are not about to agree to a federation or unity government with  the current Shiite majority in Baghdad.

    5. No Troops on the  Ground? - Seems like mission creep may be starting. An additional 300  troops are moving into Iraq. That will bring the total of US ground  forces in Iraq to about 800.

    What about those strange bedfellows?

    Russia delivered figther jets to the Iraqi government today to fight  against ISIS. This now has the US jostling for the bed clothes with  Russia and Iran. While many Shiites and others think the US should butt  out and blame the US for the current mess for butting into the internal  affairs of Iraq to begin with.

    6. New Chief at VA - Former  Proctor & Gamble CEO and Army veteran, Bob McDonald, a West Point  graduate, was tapped by President Barack Obama today to clean-up the  mess of the Veterans Affairs medical system and to restore trust in  America's commitment to veterans.

    McDonald, with 30 years in  the business field, hailing from the Cincinnati, Ohio area, will have  his hands full if confirmed by the US Senate to be the new VA Secretary.  A big priority will be clearing out the deadwood of bureaucracy which  has caused the national disgrace.

    7. Tragedy or Homicide? -  Reports on court documents revealed over the weekend that the parents of  a toddler, who was left in a closed, hot vehicle while his father was  at work and died, had searched the internet on information on children  dying in hot vehicles.

    One CNN iReporter has little sympathy for the parents and cannot see how any parent could  "accidentally" leave a child in a hot car. However, most of those who  commented on his iReport seemed to give the father the benefit of the doubt and say accidents happen.

    No matter where one stands on this tragedy, the brutal reality is a child is dead - accidentally or intentionally.

    Time, an investigation and a trial will determine whether this was an  accident, but still negligence on the part of the parent, or a  premeditated murder. The father is currently charged with murder in the  case.

    8. Executive Action - The President today announced he is  tired of waiting and giving House Speaker John Boehner time to bring a  vote on immigration reform. The President is initiating executive action  to deal with the crisis at the border with the deluge of children from  Central America. He is asking for an additional $500 million from  Congress. He is also ordering Homeland Security to refocus its resources  from the heartland and to the border.

    The full extent of what  the President plans to do remains to be seen. He is also asking for  studies and recommendations on turning off the spigot that is allowing  the flow of illegal immigrants to the US border.

    Immigration  was a main reason for the defeat of former House Majority Leader Eric  Cantor in the recent Virginia Republican primary.

    9. Cornfield  Equality - The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 7th District late  Friday afternoon granted an emergency stay at the request of Indiana  Attorney General Greg Zoeller putting a hold on equality in the  Cornfield until the appeals process runs its course.

    You can learn more reading: Equality 'On Hold' in the Cornfield.

    Check out my position on the issue: Equality - Where I Stand.

    10. Gambling Motors - Well, maybe that should be consumers taking a  gamble in light of the flood of issues and concerns with GM vehicles as  another 8.4 million are recalled worldwide.

    How can the company  ever hope to gain back any of the US of A's once renown as a maker of  excellence in automotives at this rate?

    How long will consumers continue to gamble with their lives buying GM cars and trucks?

    That's what caught my attention for Monday, June 30th, 2014.

    Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

    I am Mark Ivy.

    Good evening!

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